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Type of Work Gothic horror story Setting An ancient English manor house nineteenth century Principle Characters An unidentified Narrator Roderick Usher the Narrators gravely ill friend Lady Madcline Rodericks even more in firm sister Story Overveiw Classical gothic imagery - drippingly dark surroundings and terrifying ghostly symbols - is used throughout this tale to evoke a sense of fear and forboding that present-day novels and films have made commonplace to modern lovers of horror Thus imagine yourself living in the relatively tranquil and circumscribed realm of rural England in the 1800s The Narrator had received a letter from a boyhood acquaintance Roderick Usher begging that he come to him posthaste Usher had written to explain that he was suffering from a terrible mental and bodily illness and longed for the companionship of his only personal friend The plea seemed so heartfelt that the Narrator immediately set out for the Usher ancestral home Approaching the ivy-covered decaying old house the Narrator was struck b y an overwhelming sense of gloom which seemed to envelop the estate The very sight of the manor caused within him an illness a sickening of the heart an unredeemed dreariness But even though theeye-like windows of the mansion seemed to be staring at him he managed to swallow his fear and continue in his carriage up the path to the door As he rode he tried to recall Roderick Usher as he had once known him years had passed since they had last met He remembered his old friend as an extremely reserved fellow quite handsome but possessing an eerie morbid demeanor Rodericks family was noted for its particular musical genius - and for the fact that no new branch of the family had ever been generated For centuries the title of the estate had passed directly from father to son so that the term House of Usher had come to refer both to the
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